The Importance of Play for Dogs Revealed

The Importance of Play for Dogs Revealed

Could the amount of play your dog receives be effecting his behavior? A new study reveals the importance of play for dogs.

A new study released by Bristol University has found that play is the key to our dogs well being. The study of 4,000 dog owners showed that dogs who don’t engage in a lot of play suffer from behavioral issues such as anxiety and aggression.

 Less play time also leads to an increase in whining, jumping up, and not coming when called. Scientists are beginning to agree that play is the key to a dogs happiness. The full study will be released on the Channel 4 documentary called Dogs: Their Secret Lives.

Increased Play Lead to Less Behavioral Issues in Dogs

PlayThe research found that a lack of play can cause up to 22 different behavioral issues. These undesirable behaviors include anxiety, aggression, pulling on the lead, whining, and not coming when called.

Humans and dogs are two of the few species of mammals that continue to play well into adulthood. Dogs need to engage in fun activities just as humans in order to keep them both mentally and physically fit.

The new study released by Bristol University found a strong correlation between lack of play and increased behavioral issues with our dogs. The documentary shows that play can often correct dysfunctional canine behavioral problems.

There is a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are a really good indicator of a dog’s quality of life. – Mark Evans former RSPCA chief vet

How Often Do You Play With Your Dog?

The study found that 20% of owners play with their dog 6 times a day. 50% said they play with their dogs two or three times a day and 10% only engage in play once a day. 94% of the 4,000 participants said they experience behavioral issues with their dog.

If you’re looking for some simple ideas on how to increase play time with your dog check out 26 ways to relieve dog boredom & 33 ways to keep your dog busy indoors. Dogs that don’t engage in a lot of play have been found to suffer from more behavioral issues.

Playing With Your Dog Keeps Them Mentally Fit

Playing is how puppies learn basic manners; if they play too rough they’ll likely get a nip from the other dog or the dog will walk away. Socialization has long been said to be one of the most critical aspects when it comes to raising a well balanced dog. Perhaps the importance of learning better manners plays a role in the ability of your dog to be able to actively engage in play with others.

Playing games with your dog is not only a way to keep them physically fit it’s also mentally challenging. Dogs thrive when they’re able to engage in mentally stimulating activities. A simple game of tug is both extremely physically and mentally challenging for our companions.

We have trained dogs to be playful and to interact with us. -Dr. Nicola Rooney – Bristol University

New study from Bristol University has found a direct correlation between the amount of play a dog engages in and the chances of developing behavioral issues.